7 Quick Takes: Good Things In the Midst of COVID-19 Edition

7 Quick Takes

Here in Washington, we are under a shelter-in-place order until Holy Week, and it will likely get extended until the COVID-19 situation is resolved. (45’s plan to reopen things for Easter isn’t going to happen in these parts. Even if things did, I’m not resuming a normal life until *ACTUAL* epidemiologists recommend it, not a failed businessman and reality star.) I was already under a more restrictive shelter-in-place than existed before the one in Washington went into effect, so this was nothing new. Since I could probably enumerate the ways this situation stinks, I thought I would turn that on its head and talk about some *GOOD* things that are coming of this.

— 1 —

I’m developing an entirely new skill set. I had used Zoom twice before March 11th when I had to suddenly become a power user for work. I had never done a live post on Facebook until March 15th. I am now teaching people how to use both, and I am contributing to putting my church’s worship service online from home. (I had to make the decision not to be there in person to record last Saturday, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it was a struggle to make the decision and I cried my eyes out because it was *ONE MORE* life-giving thing being taken away from me.)

This Sunday, I get to be the “cyber verger” and do all the cueing, embedding, and unmuting when we do worship over Zoom.

— 2 —

I’m rediscovering the beauty of Compline. Our bishop has requested that we not hold corporate worship through Easter (and we are complying because a.) we listen to the bishop, and b.) the shelter-in-place order from Governor Inslee prohibits it), so I asked my priest if I could do Compline on the church Facebook page as a way of creating community and praying together even though we’re physically scattered. He enthusiastically gave me his blessing, so I have been doing it on weeknights at 8:30 p.m. It is my favorite of the Daily Offices in the Book of Common Prayer, so it is been fun to get to do it. I accidentally recorded it on my Facebook wall on Tuesday night, which might not have been a bad thing because one of my college friends from Intervarsity joined me. πŸ™‚

— 3 —

I am getting a lot of reading done. While I do read a lot, it tends to be online things. Being “bored” has meant that I spend a chunk of my day reading on my bed with Minion on the panther trap I have for him. (It’s a quilt that he tends to appropriate from me.) I just finished Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (finally!!!), and I plan to start another book tonight.

— 4 —

I’m having dinner with my parents more often. We don’t eat together as a family often because my parents and I are usually doing our own thing at night, and Daniel obviously is fed by pump. (We still encourage him to join us at the table for some milk or Cheerios.) We have managed to eat dinner together twice this week, which is nice. Dad was making hamburgers for him and my mom on Sunday, so I joined them with a “tuna burger” as my mom put it. (I am pesco-vegetarian for Lent and Dad has been keeping up a steady supply of tuna for me.) Last night, I made lasagna (because I wanted lasagna, darn it!) and they joined me for that. (I currently have 7 servings of lasagna frozen for me in the chest freezer in the garage so that I can vary my diet a bit.)

— 5 —

I’m blessed with an amazing resource in Daniel’s teacher. Daniel’s teacher is researching every possible classroom management program out there so that all of her kiddos have at least one that works well for them. We are going to be using one called ClassDojo for Daniel as well as Google Classroom because that is what the school district wants to use. I am really thankful that she is so dedicated to her students!

— 6 —

I am not having to hang out in waiting rooms and exam rooms with Daniel. Daniel’s specialists through Seattle Children’s and our pediatrician up here have been willing to do phone appointments so that we don’t have to go there. It isn’t that bad of a trek to Everett where Daniel would have had a G-I appointment last Friday, but it still meant that I did not have to be up at 6 to leave by 7 for Daniel’s x-ray and 8:00 appointment.

— 7 —

I am appreciating Max Lucado’s “Coronavirus Check-in” videos. Max Lucado is one of the few evangelicals that doesn’t make me want to stab things. His books are lovely, and he has been putting out videos almost every day on his YouTube channel and on Facebook where he is checking in, giving a short pep talk, praying for people, and inviting people to submit their prayer requests so that others can pray for them. It’s totally not something normally on my radar, but I came across this video on Facebook and have been sharing it all over the place:

People were ripping Max apart in the comments, but it is a beautiful video because it is so true. God can deal with our frustrations, and Max encourages us to have a meltdown if we need it… but to not stay there and to come back to a place of praise, using parts of the third chapter of Lamentations as an example.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 14, 2020

The kid and I are home for a snow day (because we got a few inches of snow and Washington doesn’t know how to handle it), so I thought I’d play along this week.

For Today… January 14, 2020

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… snowy. 22F at the moment, so the snow will be sticking around.

Snowy tree stump.

I am thinking… about the lasagna I’m making for Sunday. One of my favorite people at church can’t have gluten, so I’m using brown rice pasta, and I’m pondering how to get the meat texture in the sauce. I’m thinking of adding some carrots that I’ve put through the food processor. My cattle ranchers in Montana loved it when I made it that way and had no idea it was vegetarian until I told them, so I’m thinking it should work?

I am thankful… that my mom took care of Daniel for a bit this morning so I could sleep. He was up at 4:45 a.m. (!!!), so that was a necessity!

One of my favorite things… quiet. Unfortunately, I’m not getting that until my human child goes to sleep.

I am wearing… a charcoal colored thermal shirt and blue jeans from Old Navy. I’m actually wearing shoes for a change because being barefoot on hardwood floors is irritating my feet.

I am creating… the skeleton for the Lenten devotional book I coordinate for my parish so that I can just paste devotions in when I receive them.

I am reading… Good Omens by Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman… and actually making progress because I’m doing a lot of reading while I eat.

I am hoping… Daniel and I are back to school and work tomorrow.

I am learning… patience with my child.

In my kitchen… haven’t thought about dinner yet. Maybe leftovers?

In the schoolroom… Daniel is apparently doing well with learning to type.

Post Script… here is how you can get your letters stamped with a Loveland postmark for Valentine’s Day.

Shared Quote… “Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn’t have any alternative. But he hoped it was a long way off. Because he rather liked people. It was major failing in a demon. Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millennium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course. One of them had written it, hadn’t he…’Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.'” –Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

A moment from my day… California kids in the snow. (Yes, Daniel is getting taller. I have a good 1-2 inches of heel on my boots, so he actually comes up farther on me normally.)

Me and my beach boy.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Meh Edition

7 Quick Takes

There might be Amazon affiliate links because… I am an Amazon affiliate!

— 1 —

On my hook. I finished a hat that will be going to a charity that disperses them to the homeless, and I currently have a secret pair of socks in progress for my mom. I’m trying to get them done for Christmas morning, so I’ll be crocheting my fingers off this weekend. I’ll be home with Daniel, so I’m going to have to be really secretive.

— 2 —

Project accomplished… sort of. The project I was alluding to in take #7 last week was my church’s website. The webmaster and I met yesterday at Starbucks and got everything up. Praying together beforehand helped, I think. (I was just going to say grace over my lunch by myself, but he said he’d love to say grace with me, so… we did! I added prayers for the website, which I really do think was a good thing.) The announcements for the week are up as is this year’s Advent devotional book. I’ll probably be building different pages over the next few days.

— 3 —

Music for Sunday. We are doing this piece for Sunday. It was originally arranged for the Christmas Festival at St. Olaf College, so my 9 person choir is having to be those choirs. The harmonies are also a bit complicated, so I’m glad to have it under my belt again.

— 4 —

Christmas dress. I get advertising emails from Old Navy daily and one came that said “$10 dresses”. I clicked over with all possible speed and found a green dress I liked. It’s basically the long-sleeved version of one of my favorite dresses that makes me feel pretty when I wear it, so I’m excited to wear it on Christmas Eve to Midnight Mass.

— 5 —

Amazon Prime. I discovered that I could get tights on Amazon.Com, and this discovery is yet one more step along the path of becoming a hermit. Prime is sooooo worth it as well–I don’t have to wait for the stuff I need and it comes on my schedule.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: My Grown-Up Christmas List Edition

7 Quick Takes

This is not related to the Amy Grant song. I’m in bed with a cold and needed something to write about this week, so this is my Christmas list as a 39 year old.

Also, there may/may not be Amazon affiliate links in this post because I am an Amazon affiliate.

— 1 —

For this cold to go away. Seriously, I’d like to be able to sneeze and not feel like my throat is having the cilia sandblasted off of it.

— 2 —

For Daniel to stop randomly YELLING when HE IS MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so over this. Like really over this.

— 3 —

Talent at calligraphy. I’d love to make my bullet journal look like something made by Boho Berry or Amanda Rach Lee, but that’s not my strong suit. I’ve done 3 months of consistent bullet journaling, so I got myself this for next year, and I would really like to come up with a more interesting layout than this:

My bujo.

— 4 —

A job. I do love being a tutor, but I would really like to able to start working in my field and moving on with my life. However, Daniel is looking at more therapies, so I’ll be tutoring for at least another quarter to have a flexible schedule. At least I get to do some fun stuff with Excel!

— 5 —

Work clothes. I have some clothes on my Amazon wishlist toward which I’ll be putting gift cards. I should also maybe make a Kohl’s wishlist or something as well.

— 6 —

Interweave Crochet magazine subscription. I’d love a subscription to this magazine.

— 7 —

Yarn. I’d love a gift card to Michael’s or Herrschners.Com. I mean, YARN!!!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Random Songs Edition

7 Quick Takes

Jon is here visiting this week, and we have just gotten back from one of Daniel’s appointments at the Autism Center in Seattle. My brain isn’t putting together coherent thoughts, so here are 7 songs that are in my head right now.

— 1 —

“The Boxer” with Shawn Colvin, Alison Kraus, and Jerry Douglas.

— 2 —

“Kyrie Eleison” by Mr. Mister.

— 3 —

“Stella splendens” by Llibre Vermell.

— 4 —

“Yet Not I But Christ Through Me” by City Alight.

— 5 —

“How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Fernando Ortega.

— 6 —

“It Is Well With My Soul” by Audrey Assad.

— 7 —

“I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Choosing to Find Joy Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Prayer request. My friend Bekah had her son Declan at 28 weeks due to preeclampsia. She and Declan are doing OK, but Mr. D is going to be in the NICU for a bit. Prayers would be appreciated.

Please and thank you! πŸ˜€

— 2 —

So I was thinking… I was looking over some entries from 13 years ago, and I used to be a more whiny and negative person than I am today. Granted, there was a lot that wasn’t going well at the time, but a lot of stuff used to derail my day pretty easily. This changed a lot with my pregnancy with Daniel.

— 3 —

Sickness. It was hard a lot of the time. I didn’t know when I got pneumonia in October 2008 that I was pregnant at the time, and that definitely would have changed the treatment I sought for it. Thankfully, none of what I took hurt Daniel that we know of. I also got some pretty serious colds, and I was very much limited in what I could take.

— 4 —

Something about Mary. I started thinking about the Virgin Mary that December when it was -20F for weeks at a time, and I would be driving into work with gloves on with socks over them, trying to keep my hands warm and to keep them from aching. It struck me one day how hard her last few months of pregnancy must have been, especially the journey to Bethlehem.

— 5 —

Daniel’s birth. The traumatic experience of Daniel’s birth and the shock it gave me in so many ways changed how I approached each day. That first week, I was so shell-shocked that it seemed like things were getting worse by the day, but my little creature held on. Despite everything getting thrown at him, he was able to persevere through. One of the nurses told me to start finding those little joys in each day because we were in for a marathon with him. Her advice proved helpful as it gave me something on which I could focus to hold onto hope that he would eventually make it home, given that it took a month before I could even form the words to pray, and I had to work through A LOT of anger.

— 6 —

10 years later… I have held onto that practice of seeking out the joy in every day, even when we went through Daniel’s epic hospitalization 8 1/2 years ago, and that joy was sometimes that he didn’t die that day. It has stayed with me through more hospitalizations, Daniel’s autism diagnosis, the end of my marriage, and the divorce process that took two years. Even on the worst days, I choose to seek out some small joy in something. I don’t know that I would have survived if I could not do this.

— 7 —

New music. I heard this song last night and thought I’d share.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Pedee Edition

7 Quick Takes

This past weekend, the family gathered at a small wooded cemetery outside of Pedee, Oregon to bury part of my grandmother’s ashes. (The remainder of the ashes are sitting on the china cabinet downstairs and will go into the memorial garden at my parish, where she was a member for more than 35 years.) Stories were shared, some tears were shed, a Baha’i prayer on the death of women was shared, I read part of the commendation prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, and her obituary was read as well. The grave flowers are from my mom’s dahlia patch, which provided many flowers placed in Grandma’s room over the last three years.

Pedee is a very special place for all of us. I didn’t appreciate it the first time I went there in elementary school (we were in the area on the way to Washington and I kind of wanted to just get to my grandparents’ house), but I fell in love with it when I was there in 2006 to bury Grandpa. It’s a peaceful place and everyone comes when there’s a burial. (A second or third cousin of mine flew out from New York as a surprise for the occasion. I hadn’t seen her in 16 years, so it was special that she came, especially as she had only met Grandma a handful of times.) Two of the daughters of Grandma’s sister, my great-aunt Jean, were able to join us from Montana, so that was incredibly special. I hadn’t seen them for 15-20 years despite living in Montana for 4 1/2 years during that time.

— 1 —

A beautiful day.

— 2 —

A very calm and serene setting.

— 3 —

Some of those might be pioneer graves.

— 4 —

This is the grave of my great-grandparents and their infant son Dickie.

My great-grandparents and their infant son.

— 5 —

My cousin Erik, who passed away a few years ago.

My cousin Erik.

— 6 —

My grandfather, who passed away in 2006. I talk about his burial here.

Ich liebe dich, Opa.

— 7 —

My grandma. She was buried in a Chinese ginger urn with her wedding ring. We are so happy that she is back beside her “roommate”, as she and Grandpa used to call each other.

I love you, Grandma. Say hi to Grandpa for me.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.